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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2006

E 376M • Early African-American Literature (CANCELLED)

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
33770 MWF
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
PAR 204

Course Description

In 1760, a slave named Briton Hammon published a short but lively Narrative of his thirteen years' wanderings as an indentured servant, privateer, Indian captive, prisoner of war, and impressed soldier from Massachusetts to Florida to Cuba to England to Massachusetts again. His story marks the beginnings of African-American print literature. This class will examine the richness of African-American literary, intellectual, and cultural history as it developed during the eighteenth- and nineteenth-centuries. We will read pioneering authors including Phillis Wheatley, Olaudah Equiano, John Marrant, David Walker, Jarena Lee, and Frederick Douglass. Also important will be considerations of African culture, slavery, religion, mysticism, radicalism, racism, and gender as they have shaped the tradition. Finally, we will review and analyze representations of early African-American culture in contemporary film and television.

Grading Policy

Four shorter papers (4-5 pages each) 75%
One group presentation 15%
Attendance and participation 10%


Briton Hammon, Narrative of the Uncommon Sufferings and Surprizing Deliverance of Briton Hammon (1760)
Jupiter Hammon, selected poems and sermons (1760-1778)
Phillis Wheatley, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773)
John Marrant, A Narrative of the Lord's Wonderful Dealings with John Marrant (1785)
Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative (1789)
Prince Hall, A Charge to the African Lodge of Freemasons (1792, 1797)
Robert Alexander Young, The Ethiopian Manifesto (1827)
David Walker, Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World (1828)
Maria Stewart, Religion and the Pure Principles of Morality (1831)
Jarena Lee, The Life of Jarena Lee (1836)
Henry Highland Garnet, An Address to the Slaves of the United States of America (1843)
Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845), "The Heroic Slave" (1853)
Nancy Prince, A Narrative of the Life and Travels of Mrs. Nancy Prince (1850)
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, early poems and stories (1854-1859)


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